Thanksgiving Recipes: 10 Delicious Desserts

Posted by Boston Organics on Nov 6, 2023 7:00:00 AM

The great thing about Thanksgiving dinner is that no matter how much potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and green bean casserole you eat, there's always room for dessert. What to have for dessert -- that's another question entirely. Here are 10 totally awesome desserts to serve at your Thanksgiving feast.




  • 3 1/2 lbs baking apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4 in wedges
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water


Make the crust:

Combine flour, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor and pulse to blend the ingredients. Add butter and pulse until mixture looks like crumbly sand.

Add cheese and pulse again until combined and cheese is worked into the mixture and cut into small chunks. Turn  mixture out into a bowl, drizzle in 6 Tbsp cold water, and mix with a rubber spatula until the flour is moistened. Add another Tbsp water, if needed. Divide dough in half, shape each half into a ball and flatten to a disc. Rest the dough to relax the gluten, 30 minutes.

Make the filling:
Combine apples, sugar, flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Adjust baking racks to center of oven.

Roll out 1 disc of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Add apples in an even layer and dot with butter.

Lightly brush the edges with egg wash. Roll out next dough round, slightly smaller than first. Cover top of apples with the second pie dough, pressing the edges to seal the crust. Trim the crust so you are left with a 1-inch overhang. Tuck crust underneath itself so it's flush with edge of pie plate. Crimp edges decoratively.

Brush pie with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Make 5 air slits in the center of the pie. Place the pie on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

Lower oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature, at least 3 hours, before slicing.

Tested and Approved by Boston Organics (Vanessa Friedland)


Gluten Free Cranberry Apple Crisp


  • 7 apples, unpeeled, (it's easier!) cored and chopped; use a few more if they are small apples
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean cut into bits; or use 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries (optional)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes, or gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil


Preheat oven to 375°F. Put the apples in a 9x13x2 inch Pyrex casserole dish. 

Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apples. Sprinkle the cut vanilla bean, or extract over the top of the apples. Stir the mixture around a bit with a spoon. 

Combine maple syrup, cinnamon, and quinoa (or gluten-free oatmeal) in a bowl. Cut in coconut oil. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Bake 45 minutes or until topping looks crisp.

Adapted from Kelly Courson


Pear and Cranberry Crumble


  • 4 ripe but still firm pears (we prefer Bosc or Anjou pears)
  • 1 heaping cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp raw sugar (granulated or brown sugar will also work)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • sprinkling of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar (just use more brown sugar if you don't have raw)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into cubes


Place rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Take out 8×8-inch baking dish and set aside.

First prepare filling.  Cut top stem and bottom butt off each pear.  The bottom will give you a stable base to peel the pears.  Use a small paring knife to peel pears.  Slice each pear in half.  Use a small teaspoon gently run down the length of the inside of the pear, removing the fiberous inside spine, and scoop out seeds.  Dice pears into hearty bite-size chunks and place in baking dish.  Pour cranberries into dish.  Top with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  Toss lightly and set aside.

Prepare topping.  Whisk together flour, brown sugar, raw sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and oats.  Add unsalted butter  and incorporate with your fingers.  Work butter into the topping mixture until it is well incorporated and some butter bits are still the size of oat flakes or small peas.  Add about 1/3 of the topping mixture to the pear and cranberry mixture.  Toss to incorporate.  Place the remaining topping on top of the mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until bubbly and delicious smelling.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.  This dish is perfect served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Crumble lasts for up to 3 days, covered, in the fridge.

Adapted from Joy Wilson


Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


Place bread in a greased 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir in cranberries. Pour over bread cubes. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

For sauce, in a large saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture turns a golden amber color, about 20 minutes. Gradually stir in cream until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Serve warm with bread pudding. 

Yield: 8 servings (1-1/3 cups sauce).

Adapted from Taste of Home


Parsnip Cakeparsnip-cake

  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 lb parsnips (about 3 large or 4-5 small)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • zest of one orange
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup neutral oil like canola or safflower
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp aniseed powder or ground fennel
  • ¾ tsp salt


Toast nuts at 350 for 10 mins. Allow to cool and finely chop.

While nuts are toasting and cooling, line 9" cake pan with parchment and grease sides and bottom.

Peel and grate parsnips, removing woody core if tough. Mix parsnips with raisins, nuts and orange zest and set aside.

Mix eggs and sugar at high speed for two minutes. At lower speed slowly add oil.

Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture at low speed. Remove mixer and fold in parsnip mixture.

Spread into prepared pan and bake at 400 for 45 minutes or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve dusted with icing sugar or with ice cream or really gild the lily with orange scented cream cheese frosting.

Adapted from Helen Goh



Delicata Squash Pie


  • 3 medium delicata squash
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 pate brisee (pastry dough; you can find a good recipe at Smitten Kitchen)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the delicata squash in half, de-seed, place in a roasting pan with a pat of butter in each half and roast until soft, about 30 mintues.

While the squash is cooking, roll out your pate brisee and line a tart or pie pan. Set aside, preferrably in the fridge, until ready to fill. 

Once the squash has cooked and cooled, spoon the flesh out and puree. The puree should equal about 2 1/2 cups.

In a large bowl add the delicata puree, and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Beat 2 eggs plus one yolk, until homogenized, and add to the mixture. Then mix in 1-1/4 cup heavy cream. Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for about 1 hour, until just set.

Half way through, turn the pie 180° to ensure even cooking. Allow to cool, and serve along with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Adapted from The Avocado Pit


Parsnip Pie


  • 6 to 7 parsnips, peeled and cut in 1-inch slices
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 9-inch prebaked pie shell
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sliced almonds


Heat the oven to 350°F. In a large pan bring water to a boil, add parsnip pieces, and cook until easily pierced. Drain. Combine parsnips with the next 7 ingredients. Pour into pie shell and bake until a knife blade comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.

While the pie is still warm, spread with the marmalade (you may strain it if you want a more glaze-like topping) and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.


Pumpkin Pie


  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a pie pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée (can also use puréed cooked butternut squash)
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1 good pie crust


To make pumpkin purée from scratch, cut medium-small sugar pumpkin in half. Scrape out insides (reserving the pumpkins seeds to toast) and discard. Line baking sheet with Silpat or foil. Place pumpkin halves cut side down on the lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F until fork can easily pierce them, about 1 to 1.5 hours. Remove from oven, let cool, scoop out pulp. Alternatively you can cut the pumpkin into sections and steam in a saucepan with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft (strain before using). If you want the purée to be extra smooth, press the pulp through a food mill or chinois.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Beat eggs in large bowl. Mix in brown sugar, white sugar, salt, spices-cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom, and lemon zest.

Mix in pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed.

Pour filling into uncooked pie shell. Bake at a high temperature of 425°F for 15 minutes. Then after 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (About half-way through the baking, you may want to put foil around the edges or use a pie protector to keep the crust from getting too browned.)

Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.

Serve with whipped cream.

Adapted from Simply Recipes



Roasted Sweet Potato Pie


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, or enough for 1 1/2 cups puréed roasted sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup mild honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp drained yogurt or crème fraiche
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 fully baked and cooled pie crust (optional)


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line baking sheet with foil. Pierce sweet potatoes in several places with the tip of a paring knife. Place on the baking sheet and bake 40 to 50 minutes, until soft and oozing.

Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, peel and place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade (you can also blend the mixture with a hand blender). Turn the oven down to 350°F. If not using a crust, butter a round 9-inch baking dish.

Measure out 1 1/2 cups of sweet potato purée (store any extra purée in the refrigerator and enjoy with a meal). Place purée in the food processor, or in a bowl if using a hand blender, add remaining ingredients (except the crust) and blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape into baking dish or crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Adapted from New York Times Recipes


Traditional Apple Pie


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening (recommended: Crisco)
  • ice water
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 to 7 cups apples cut into thin slices (recommended: Green Golden and Jonathans)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbl butter


Preheat oven to 375°F.

In medium-mixing bowl cut shortening and salt into flour by hand or with a pastry blender hands until it's the texture of cornmeal. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp ice water over mixture and mix just until dough is moistened. Repeat by adding 6 to 8 Tbsp water (one at a time) until all dough is just moist. Take care not to over mix.

Divide dough in half and roll into a ball. Roll 1 ball into a circle to fit a 9 to 10-inch pie plate. To transfer pastry to pie plate, wrap it around a rolling pin and ease it into pie plate. Be careful not to stretch the pastry. Trim it even with the edges of pie plate.

In a medium bowl combine apples, brown sugar and white sugar. Add flour, cinnamon and continue mixing until well coated.

Add apple filling to pastry lined pie plate. Make sure they are laying flat. Cut butter into small pieces and dot filling.

Roll remaining pastry into 12-inch circle. Place on top of filling. Trim off 1-inch beyond edge of the pie plate. Crimp edges as desired. Cut slits to allow steam to escape when baking. Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon over the pie.

Cover edges with foil to prevent over browning. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Adapted from Food Network

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving desserts? Share in the comments below!

Topics: Holiday, Thanksgiving, organic desserts

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